Houston Toad Release

This is Passport to Texas

[Houston toad trill] The Houston Toad is why Mike Forstner gets up mornings.

A Houston toad is pretty remarkable. It’s a piece of Texas that is right on the edge of being lost.

For nearly two decades the Texas State University biology professor has worked to keep the endangered amphibian from becoming extinct. Current drought conditions could have stymied his efforts.

We have effectively kept whatever loses were going to happen during the drought somewhat offset by what we’ve head started.

Forstner collaborates with people like Paul Crump, reptile and amphibian keeper for the Houston Zoo, who raised hundreds of the toads from eggs, called head-starting.

March 20th I believe is when we collected the eggs. They started completing metamorphosis I think it was three to four weeks later…so what does that make them…near four to five months old?

In early fall, Forstner, Crump and others, armed with buckets of the young toads, met in Bastrop County, to release them into a pond.

I’m going to try and direct them into here, so to kind of shoo them into this area. (:05.5 ambience at end)

Unaware of their important role, the toads, amid a bit of nervous chirping, dispersed into the surrounding area.

[:04 toad chirps] I don’t think we’re naïve enough to think every one of these guys will survive…but fingers crossed. [:04 toad chirps]

The Wildlife restoration program supports our series…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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